Sunday, January 27, 2013

Glory Story- Our Home

I'm titling this post "Glory Story" because God has done incredible work in Beau and I's lives, and there are a TON of glory stories that fell into place to make one giant piece into our ongoing God story of the Christiansens.

A lot of you have said, "CONGRATULATIONS on the house!" Followed by, "I didn't even know you guys wee looking!". And to that we very hastily say, "WE WEREN'T LOOKING! HAHA!"

We alllll know I'm long winded so grab your calendars, a blanket, and I imagine you'll have to stand up a few times and shake the blood out of your 'asleep' booty once or twice by the time I'm done. It's worth it to scream and shout from the rooftops of what GOD has been doing for us.

 I'll try to do this in steps so it's as clear as possible AND it will be long. I've warned you. 

Beau and I are kinda lame. We find enjoyment in card games between the two of us, bike riding, and time spent on the internet looking up and researching things. Three things in particular that Beau enjoys is looking up the housing market around our area, AND the Iowa wrestling stats, post-meet interviews with wrestlers/coaches, and stats of their competitors to predict the upcoming meets, and Gotcha Day adoption videos/adoption info. Crazy I tell ya. Crazy. If his laptop is up, he's doing one of those two things. For the longest time my response would be, "Quit looking that (house) stuff up. It gets me excited and I know we're not planning on a house for another year." That was the plan. That was our plan. (God MUST laugh at us, just has to.)

For months and months, this is how it went. One time we drove by a house (we love drive bys- we're those people) that has the little container stuck in their yard with paper handouts by the FOR SALE sign- they're the best. We make a game out of it and I tuck and roll jump out of the car and sprint up to the yard and dash back. He times me. Well one time, we did this 310 Crystal Street and when we took a look at it, it was WAYYYYYYYYYY out of price range. Sweet house. Not so sweet price.

Fast forward to two weeks ago (four months later), we do another random drive by- we like to dream. :) This time we noticed 310 Crystal seemed vacant. Although it took the thrill of grabbing another sheet, we decided to grab another and see if the price had gone done at all- FOR FUN. WE WERE NOT LOOKING TO BUY A HOUSE. Seriously, this was a lame hobby of ours. Well, the price HAD gone down. We didn't think anything of it, went home, Beau hopped on his laptop...looked around. The pictures seemed pretty neat/nice. End of story.

Next day, Monday, Beau goes to work (he's a banker, remember?) and asked one of his mortgage lady friends OUT OF CURIOSITY (I didn't know he was doing this) about the process of buying a house. What do we need to consider, what things do they look at/need to be lined up, time frame, documents needed, etc. Her response? "Oh, I actually just printed out a sample packet of all that information on a house listed by a realtor that works with me. Let me go get it." She comes back with the packet of information, and it was a packet of information on THE EXACT HOUSE WE RANDOMLY LOOKED AT. Beau brought it home and told me, and as exciting as that was random, I replied, "Sweet, but don't get my hopes up."

That night, we head to my dads where we bring up ^^ to him. Show him the pictures, run/crunch some numbers for fun, dream a little and then my dad tells us we should look at it. "It doesn't cost anything to just go look, call Chad!" Um, WHAT? We're not looking for houses. We're planning on resigning our lease for our one bedroom apartment, THE NEXT DAY.

Wednesday night, we go look at the house with my dad. Beau says, "Don't get too excited, this is for fun." We loved it.
Dad comes over, (who is a very picky, thorough house-hunter/builder) and says, "You guys, I just can't find anything to tell you to stay away from this house, except for a few paint jobs- and that's a piece of cake." Um, WHAT? My goodness. WHAT IS HAPPENING? We go to bed that night, and we just go before the Lord and ask him if this is HIS WILL, rather than our will. Who wouldn't love to move out of a one bedroom apartment and into a 3+ bedroom with 4 bathrooms house, with a two-car garage? Wowzers. We prayed very specifically, asking God that he would make it very clear as to what we should do. In order for this to be possible we needed very specific things to be answered/taken care of.
  1. Kendra needed a job for the spring. I had graduated but could start subbing, since jobs for full time positions for the start of the school year in August were posted in late spring. Subbing is very inconsistent though. 
  2. Kendra needed a job for the summer. (story of a teacher's life, eh?) 
  3. Kendra needed a full time teaching job in the Fall. 
  4. We needed to sublease our apartment (knowing if God wanted us to pursue this house, we'd probably close in March sometime) from April-July 31. 
  5. We wanted to purchase this house for no more than $___,____ (significantlyish lower than the asking price)
***I'll tell you what, it's such a special and uniting thing to come before our Father as a couple together, knowing we're totally reliant on Him for this situation. (We also let Him know we had no idea why he was presenting us with this, where it came from, etc) We knew we were asking for very specific, very BIG things from Him- but what choice did we have? Our lives are HIS.

Minutes after we closed in prayer, I reached over to grab my phone and set an alarm, and my phone jingle-jangled....I had a new email. The email? From my summer nanny coordinator, telling me she had TWO FAMILY PROFILES for me to look at for a summer position. THAT IS PRAYER REQUEST #2 ANSWERED. In less than five minutes.

Thursday (I posted about this day here) I was at a friends house, where I received a call from a principal to come in for an interview for a FULL TIME position at a school I student taught at. The job would go from ASAP to the end of the school year in MAY. THAT IS PRAYER REQUEST #1 ANSWERED. in less than 12 hours. (Also, a hopeful foot in the door for positions they are posting for the fall full time....for prayer request #3)  I started Tuesday. :)

The weekend passed, we took a 2nd look at the house that Sunday...still loving it all. Beau also put an ad on Craigslist for our apartment. It's almost impossible in a college town to find a subleaser for the summer months. Yipes. However, we had two people email us within hours of our post, who both came to look at the apartment, and one girl committed, but then the next day found out she lost her job, so no longer would be able to sign the sublease. Bummer. God still provided, but chose to take that away- we're okay with that. He is still good. We will still rely on Him to provide for prayer request #4.

We continued in prayer, and decided to put our first offer on the house Tuesday. We were still waiting on our Pre-approval for the mortgage, it was MLK day so the bank was closed, but we got the go ahead from our realtor that we could still put an offer in. We went back and forth all day Tuesday (every recess duty I was on, I was praying- out loud with my scarf wrapped around my head as I walked around the play ground, just asking for wisdom/clarity) with the buyers with offers and counter offers, and by the end of the day we weren't really excited as to where things were going. It was looking as if God may be saying "Be patient.", so we chose not to put another counter offer that night. Instead, we chose to pray about it again, and go at it Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, Beau called our realtor and gave him our "almost" final offer, the offer that was our "ideal price" that we wanted to pay and had prayed for the week before. It was a long shot because it was still further away from their last offer. I got a text from Beau on my lunch that said, "THEY ACCEPTED THE OFFER!" You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. I got tears in my eyes and just said, "Thank you Jesus. This is all because of You, Lord." YOU GUYS I CAN NOT EXPRESS TO YOU how much of a miracle that was/is. They accepted our offer, not a penny over our price we SPECIFICALLY PRAYED FOR ONE WEEK EARLIER. I was convinced, (how I had not been by now? Oh me, of little faith) that He must want us to have this house for some reason. HERE IS ANSWERED PRAYER REQUEST #5. Holy. Moly.

By Thursday we're still waiting for our Pre-Approval letter which also had to be in the sellers hands by February 1st. We had run the numbers a hundred times (and by we I mean Beau and the mortgage lady) and knew that we should be good to go. However, Monday was MLK day, bank was closed. Tuesday- her computer crashed and lost everything. They were to overnight her a new computer for Wednesday morning, and it didn't come. Thursday, she says the earliest it will be completed and returned would be this upcoming Tuesday (26th), but could be as late as Friday (the 1st. It HAD to be in by then). CRAP. So, that night, again, we came together- and I remember laughing out loud in prayer, "God, I know "W" said the EARLIEST will be TUESDAY, but can you perform a miracle and knock her socks, and our socks off and have it come in TOMORROW- as in FRIDAY?". Amen.

Friday, Beau texts me after my lunch- "WE GOT APPROVED!". I'm SORRY, WHAAAAAAT? (we weren't surprised it came back approved, it was the time frame that shocked our socks off.) The lady who DOES MORTGAGES EVERY DAY FOR A LIVING JUST TOLD US YESTERDAY, THE EARLIEST IT WOULD  BE DONE WAS TUESDAY? And he just texted me and said it came back that day- FRIDAY. The day I had asked God, laughingly so, if he could perform a little miracle- and He answered that prayer. YOU GUYS. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (again?)

It's now Sunday. There is a Sale Pending sign stuck in the yard in place of a container full of pamphlets with information on the house, that will now potentially be our home for years to come. A home of which I have asked God that if he allowed us to have, (Ha- a WEEK AGO) that we would whole-heartedly use it to bless others. Wanna know what? Beau's sister is moving back from Ohio this summer and needs a place to live while she finds a new job and her own place to call home. Guess what? We have room. :) We have married best friends that will be moving back from Florida in October that also need a place to live while they find a place to call home- we have room. We have two sets of friends from Indiana and Michigan who will be traveling here this summer for my cousin's wedding and need a place to stay- there is room in the Inn. :)

One more thing- I got a little panicked about the thought of cleaning, painting, packing, moving, unpacking, putting things away, and cleaning the old apartment now that I have a full time job. We close (pending) March 14th. That's the day we would get the keys, that next day is Friday the 15th of which I don't have school and so starts Spring Break at my school....TEN DAYS now blessing me to relieve that little tiny stress. God cares. :) He really does.

If the process of sale pending continues to work out, which I have faith and trust in the almighty that it will, and if not, He is still good- that Beau and I have been praying about what else we can do to bless others with the room we have in our home before we begin the adoption process.

We are so blessed and I can NOT believe the last week. Just can NOT believe it. I'm still giggling and asking the Lord what He has up his sleeve....but I'm willing to go along with it. I want an attitude of YES.
Even if He chooses to take this away, the message today in church really spoke to my heart in complete trust in Him. Sometimes things don't always work out as we think they might, and it might be a huge bummer, a time of suffering, major disappointment, maybe even painful- but ultimately it's Him conforming me to be more like Christ. And I can't think of anything I want to be more, than more like Him. (it's not easy though, please know that. I am very weak. He is strong through me.)

WE DO NOT DESERVE these blessings, but it has only secured our trust and faith in how God will provide and guide us for our future. He is good. He would have been good STILL, had things not gone this particular grand way. 


1 comment:

Lisa said...

Love hearing all the details, Kendra! Thank you for sharing...and I'm giggling right along with you. Why are we so amazed at what our amazing God does? He loves to shower us with's just His nature. Thanking God for showering His love over you and Beau in the way of your first home! So much fun!